Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Horea Ilies, Dr. Julian Norato, Dr. Xu Chen

Field of Study

Mechanical Engineering


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Modern engineering courses provide students with exposure to the theory and derivations of problems. Rarely do these courses require students to apply their theoretical knowledge to problems that an engineer would face in industry, thus leaving a gap in a student’s education. In order for future engineers to effectively prepare to apply their engineering education to problems in industry, it is vital that engineering students take courses in which they can learn how to integrate different engineering topics and apply theoretical knowledge to industry problems.

The objective of this thesis is to develop an educational platform that both integrates and applies the knowledge that a mechanical engineering student learns during their undergraduate career. This platform is designed to facilitate a student’s ability to bridge the gap between engineering theory and application through an exciting and engaging topic, namely the design and fabrication aspects of a 3D printed robotic arm.

This educational platform was developed integrating a variety of different engineering disciplines to create a product that effectively represents an evolving technology, 3D printed robotics, that will have relevance to future engineers for years to come. Successful completion of the 3D printed robotic arm, central to the course platform, will require knowledge and integration of mechanical engineering, mechatronics, programming and manufacturing principles and will require students to explore and integrate knowledge from various engineering disciplines, including dynamics (forward and inverse kinematics), stress and strain analysis, FEA and topology optimization, mechatronics, programing and manufacturing.

This developed educational platform promotes a learning experience in which students have the opportunity to not only tinker and be creative but to develop an appreciation for the application of a wide variety of engineering topics. The requirements of the project also challenge students to adapt, evolve and develop their field-specific engineering knowledge, while also developing their cross-functional engineering capabilities.

Major Advisor

Dr. Horea Ilies